Understanding the Ethics of Research

Did you know that there are many ethical principles that researchers must follow? This is to ensure that research is done in a way that minimizes risk and provides benefit to research participants. “Research” is a broad term for an organized way to gather information. The information is collected through the use of surveys, interviews, medical record reviews, tests or medical procedures. Research needs to provide valuable knowledge to benefit people. It also has the potential to improve the care or well-being of future generations.
The University of Pittsburgh takes research ethics seriously. Its Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) oversees all studies. The mission of this Institutional Review Board is “to protect and serve.” Each study is reviewed by multiple trained staff members to ensure that the study meets research ethics principles.
Recently, there have been national efforts to increase community engagement in research and demonstrate respect for cultural differences. When communities are involved in research and working with researchers, people can benefit from the shared knowledge. Community involvement also gives people a voice in the direction of the research.


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